What it is: Pixelmator announced a new professional graphics editor called Pixelmator Pro that uses machine learning.
For the longest time, Adobe Photoshop ruled the graphics editing world. The problem of Photoshop was that it was expensive, it was cross-platform for Windows and macOS so it wasn’t really optimized for either operating system, and Adobe switched to a subscription model so you had to buy a software subscription to use Photoshop. For many graphics professionals, Photoshop is the only alternative.
However, Pixelmator is a low-cost alternative graphics editor that does much of what most people need. Now the company that brought Pixelmator has introduced a new professional version called Pixelmator Pro. Although the cost hasn’t been revealed yet, one unique feature is that Pixelmator Pro uses Apple’s latest machine learning features. Presumably this machine learning feature will allow Pixelmator Pro to help people edit images faster and more accurately than before, but this could be the first major use of machine learning in a major application so it will be interesting to see how well it works.
The real key to machine learning isn’t just to use trained models but to allow users to train and update the machine learning model through use of the program. While this likely isn’t possible yet, it’s what will make machine learning far more valuable to adapt to the user rather than offer a canned response every time.
Pixelmator Pro offers real competition to Adobe Photoshop, and machine learning just makes this program even more intriguing. Best of all, Pixelmator Pro is optimized solely for macOS so it should run better and faster than Adobe Photoshop. The only question is whether Pixelmator Pro can offer all the features professional graphics users need.
Whatever the case, the graphics editing world is getting full of rivals and alternatives to Photoshop. Beyond Pixelmator Pro, there’s Affinity Photo along with Adobe’s own Photoshop Elements, a simpler version of Photoshop for the average person.
Photoshop may be the dominate graphics editor today and maybe even tomorrow, but now you won’t have to rely on Photoshop any more if you don’t want to. Pixelmator Pro will be coming this fall and this may give you a chance to leave Photoshop once and for all.